|Beijing at night|
If you step over at Beijing Capital Airport and you have to wait long for your next flight, you might be wondering if you can leave the airport and take a walk around the city. This is the same question I asked myself a few days ago. I arrived in Beijing from Taipei at 4:00 p.m., and my next flight was at 1:30 p.m. of the following day. I really disliked the idea of idling around at the airport for so many hours, so I decided to try and find out if it was possible to go out without having a visa.
I arrived at Terminal 3. After the body temperature control there are the passport control for Chinese nationals and foreigners, and the domestic and international transfers. On the left there is a “special line”. An officer was standing by the counter, apparently doing nothing. I walked up to him and explained my situation: “I will fly to Rome tomorrow at 1:30,” I said. “Is it possible to go out of the airport and visit the city?”
Don’t forget that in order to get this visa, you need to have a ticket that shows you will depart within 24 hours and your luggage must have already been checked in (if your luggage arrives in Beijing with you, you won’t be given the visa).
|Outside of Dongzhimen Subway Station|
I walked directly to the shuttle train and went to the arrival hall. From there I took the Airport Express which goes to Dongzhimen Subway Station, in Beijing’s city centre.
On the 1st of January 2013 a new regulation came into effect. Travellers who step over at Beijing International Airport and are provided with a plane ticket for a flight that leaves Beijing after a maximum of 72 hours can easily obtain a 72 hours visa free entry, valid only within Beijing.
The procedure is the same as I described above. Just fill in the arrival card, go to the special line left of the Immigration Inspection and give your passport, the ticket for the next flight and the arrival card to the officer. Within a few minutes you will get a stamp on your passport that will allow you a 72 hours stay in the PRC capital. This new policy is valid for citizens of the following 45 countries:
|On the right you can see the China Immigration Inspection
and the desk where to fill the arrival cards. The special line
to get your 72 hours visa is on the left, where people
— the Czech Republic;
–the Republic of Lithuania;
— the Republic of Malta;
— the Netherlands;
— the Republic of Slovakia;
–the Republic of Slovenia;
— the United Kingdom of Britain;
— the Republic of Ireland;
— the United States of America;
— New Zealand;
— the Republic of Korea;
— the United Arab Emirates;